Luxury Hotels

Delray Beach – Sonoma

How satisfying it is, says Girlahead, to find local bigwigs turning out to support a hotel opening. See the photo above, which shows, on the far right, Delondo Dino Lemon, Manager of The Ray Hotel Delray Beach. He is supported, from the left, by Hilton’s Keith Clampet; Delray Beach’s Vice Mayor Shirley Johnson, her deputy Adam Frankel, and two commissioners, Juli Casale and Ryan Bolyston; owning company Menin’s Jordana Jurjura and Craig Menin, and, also, Mayor of Delray Beach Shelly Petroila. Wow, deep breath.  They sure do know how to pull out all the stops in Florida! The Ray, a 141-key Curio Collection by Hilton, opened 1st September in Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove Arts District – it is designed by Virserius Studio and, for restaurants (overseen by Clique Hospitality) by Munge. Girlhead is thrilled Menin is eschewing old-fashioned ‘fine dining’ in favour of an American grill plus Rosewater Rooftop, for shareable small plates, fresh seafood, and  cocktails.

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What a clever idea! The Lodge at Sonoma, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, is celebrating the current California Wine Month by offering bicycles to get from one tasting experience to another. Sonoma County is home to almost 60,000 acres of vineyards, and looking at one online assessment, the highest-rated tasting room is Ferrari Carano, which charges $35 per person, by appointment only. Tasting rooms mentioned in the hotel’s Pedal for Pinot complimentary booklet include Buena Vista and Sebastiani and suggestion for cycling stops are included, too (try to see Sonoma Muscum of Art). Back home at the 182-room The Lodge at Sonoma, visit its High Horse Bar, a converted horse trailer: a signature Get Off Your High Horse cocktail of Sonoma rye whiskey, mezcal, tequila and mango sees a contribution being passed to Sonoma Food Runners’ hunger charity and also Community Action of Napa Valley. The 182-room hotel, at HWY12 and Leveroni Rd, has strong partnerships with local farmers, and Michael Mina oversees its Wit & Wisdom outlet.

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Let us think more about Marriott’s multitudinous brands: hear Chris Gabaldon, here: